394.31/1–1453: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


3852. Dept Circular Airgram, December 9, Control 903.2

Following position US will take Intersessional Committee meeting Geneva February 2:

Japan important key US policy and strategic objectives in Far East. Basic principle our foreign policy is to further development strong and stable Japanese economy and strengthen Japan’s economic ties free world. Japan’s ability willingness devote its share resources to mutual defense effort will depend improvement its economic position. Objective is to obtain agreement Contracting Parties Japan may negotiate for accession basis complete equality with present Contracting Parties.

Hoped Intersessional Committee will consider all issues and submit proposal covering points which in Committee’s opinion would provide acceptable basis for scheduling tariff negotiations; [Page 128] approval such proposal by Intersessional Committee not binding on govts. Such proposal would be submitted all Contracting Parties with request they report chairman Intersessional Committee on some selected date in summer 1953 (1) whether proposal furnishes sufficient basis to expect successful Japanese accession ultimately and therefore justifies scheduling tariff negotiations and (2) whether willing negotiate with Japan. Contracting Parties chairman then decide whether fruitful call special session to schedule tariff negotiations.

US prepared explore any problems raised by other Contracting Parties view developing acceptable solutions.

Appears likely other govts will wish include labor provision. US will support introduction draft provision similar Article 7 ITO Charter3 because might help secure support US and other countries for Japanese accession.

US will discourage introduction other contracting parties any new provisions on dumping or unfair trade practices since Japanese measures already taken appear sufficient. Document airmailed Conover4 today recites charges Japanese unfair trade practices and comprehensive postwar Japanese measures prevent them.

In order have stronger negotiating position some contracting parties may explore techniques for increasing rates on items likely to be imported from Japan. US Delegation will generally oppose any proposal along these lines but, without indicating any way accommodation could be made this point, should try find out precisely what proposals will be made. Trade Agreements Committee will review just prior Intersessional meeting any proposals increase rates on basis information obtained consultations other countries. Criteria recommended for use that time in considering any proposals include (1) refusal agree any proposal unless adoption would lead to overall reduction barriers trade, including trade Japan (2) in principle oppose widening margin preference on any item.

Embassy authorized discuss French pertinent parts foregoing. Suggest desirability full and frank discussions with appropriate officials with statement hope France will be prepared soonest state complete details any proposals they intend make at February meeting. Dept will talk with French Embassy here but wishes focal point maintained Paris.

Please telegraph results consultations.

  1. Drafted by Ferber and C. Thayer White of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs. The Department sent a similar telegram to the High Commissioner in Bonn. (Telegram 3440, Jan. 12, 1953; 394.31/12–3152)
  2. This circular airgram notified its addressees that the question of Japanese membership in the GATT would be the main topic for consideration by the Intersessional Committee on Feb. 2, 1953. Recipients of the airgram, who were all accredited to governments with representation on the Committee, were asked to provide information on the probable positions their governments would take at the meeting. (394.31/12–952)

    The Intersessional Committee, formally the ad hoc Committee on Agenda and Intersessional Business of the Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, was established by GATT members to address all unsettled issues left over from the formal yearly sessions.

  3. For text of the ITO Charter, see Department of State Publication 3117, Havana Charter for an International Trade Organization and Final Act and Related Documents (Washington, Government Printing Office, April 1948). For general documentation concerning U.S. participation in the Charter’s formulation and the relationship between the Charter and the establishment of GATT, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. i, pp. 9091025; and ibid., 1948, vol. i, Part 2, pp. 802947.
  4. Harry Conover, First Secretary of the Embassy at Paris.